Jan 21, 2023 - Economy

What Gen Z wants to be when they grow up

Data: Axios/Generation Lab poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Despite the rise of social media and the ubiquity of the creator economy, most Gen Z-ers are interested in the same traditional careers as generations before them.

Driving the news: Young people today are more likely to job-hop, but they are also looking for stability by pursuing careers as CEOs, doctors and engineers, according to a new Axios/Generation Lab study.

By the numbers: Gen Z-ers surveyed said their top career goals were businessperson, doctor and engineer.

  • Artist took the fourth spot.

Gen Z-ers also tend to prefer larger companies — with 58% saying they’d prefer a big or mid-sized corporation over a startup or a government job.

  • Just 14% aspire to work for the government.

Worth noting: Young people’s leading motivator as they advance in their careers is personal fulfillment (49%), followed by wealth (25%).

  • Contrary to polling that indicates Gen Z cares more about their employers’ stances on social issues more than previous generations, just 9% of respondents said societal impact is their top driver when it comes to work.
  • Gen Z is also driving the "quiet-quitting" trend, with 82% of them saying the idea of doing the minimum required to keep their jobs is pretty or extremely appealing.

The bottom line:  "The most popular careers among young people are those with high-income potential. ... They see that as the best way to achieve personal fulfillment and happiness," says Matin Mirramezani, Generation Lab's chief operating officer.

  • "They don't see their career path as an end in itself, but rather the means to an end."

Methodology: This poll was conducted Jan. 11-18 from a representative sample of 824 18 to 29-year-olds nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points.

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